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Wed, November 2, 2011
Christine's Corner, Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Our theme this month is Challenges & Triumphs. Throughout our lives we will have many of both, whether big or small. And often, our own internal dialogue will help us determine whether we view the experiences in our lives as one or the other. Our cover this month speaks directly to the power of the human spirit to persevere and triumph despite our challenges. Our feature article calls your attention to just one of the many societal challenges that face us. Through our individual and collective efforts, we have the capacity to face and overcome any challenge.

How is it exactly that we determine whether our experiences are challenges or triumphs? Why is it that some individuals, in the face of extraordinary challenge, seem to be filled with so much grace and positivity while others struggle?  When you look back on your life and evaluate the most challenging times, does your heart stay focused on the challenges or are you filled with the sense of triumph that you persevered those difficulties?  How do you embrace the challenges in your life - do you create challenges for yourself to test your abilities and limits? Do you shy away from challenges? Do you view the difficulties in your life as if you’re being punished unfairly or do you view them as opportunities for growth?

Sometimes the challenges in our lives are so painful that we feel lucky to just have survived them. Hopefully at some point we are able to look back on the experience and be grateful for the wisdom and growth we gained as a result. And I think we are always given the opportunity to declare for ourselves what we define internally as a successful or triumphant outcome, regardless of whether or not society at large would define it the same way.

Challenges and triumphs are universal to all of us. Whether our challenges are economic, physical, emotional, or spiritual, we all have them. How and whether we embrace those challenges shape as individuals.

In order to triumph over our challenges, however, we first must become aware. What are our challenges? Are we contributing to them? Do we have enough distance to be able to view them with proper perspective? Can we identify a larger reason this particular challenge is showing up in our lives? The more you become aware of the nature of your own particular challenge and what options exist for you, the better equipped you will be to move into a different place.

Sometimes, as you’ll read in this month’s great feature article by Laura Murthum, the challenges we face are societal in nature.Just as with our own personal challenges, our societal challenges require awareness and action. There are just as many ways to affect change - through in-depth, dedicated work, or even just informing one other individual.

Through awareness and ultimately action, we can begin to move from whatever challenges face us toward success or being triumphant in our efforts. Whether your “success” transforms the ultimate outcome of your efforts or whether you are solely able to more fully embrace, accept or even honor the truth of your situation, the transformation from “challenge” to “triumph” has begun!

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